It’s not often I get to hang out at bike shops. Being an international man of mystery means I have to mix it up a bit and make sure I’m not snapped hanging in my home town when my Instagram account shows me busting rad moves in some exotic riding location I have never even visited. Even my cunning trick of traveling around with a pair of handlebars and gloves for riding shots in locations you wouldn’t have believed were possible on a bike have got me in trouble with my followers (and the law) on many occasions.
Where was I? Oh yeah, bike shops. Yes I tend to stay away from them if I can. They are a plethora of mine fields for therodfather and I learnt long ago that none of my disguises work and I always get busted eventually. What with time consuming autographs from adoring groms while my parking meter over-runneth to having to endure a lengthy sales pitch on the benefits of a 160mm enduro bike for XC riding from a 3 month sales veteran, I always end up leaving a shop feeling drained, somewhat violated, to then find a $200 fine on my windscreen from a bastard parking warden for an expired registration or W.O.F.
I had popped into Capital Cycles Wellington, a couple of times in the past to look at weird bikes with skinny tyres and say hello to my 90s' DH racing buddy Shane Joyce who part owns the business with Paul Davies. But recently I had to go in to do some “business” with my old mate Diggle who I had never met but shared many hilarious phone conversations with when he was a workshop tech with Worralls.
Holy Crap… I got a bit of a shock. The shop had suffered a facelift and there were all these fat tyred freaks lovingly adorned around the new shop extension and this rather pleasant man bustling around introducing Wellington riders to GT, Yeti and Transition bikes as well as a fully stocked cupboard of sparkly bits to adorn the finest rocket ships you will find on the trails.
Meet Tom Cappleman. He is a recent addition to Capital and has been a champion in bringing the shop to the cool crowd. Off-road wannabe enduro racers that is. With a flair for customer service (he can listen), an easy style and wit to match (not as funny as me) he compliments the Capital team and brings in a breath of fresh loam. Now the shop is a mountain bikers paradise and you’d be hard pressed to find a product that isn’t highly rated by the in-crowd (that’s also enduro racers BTW).
There’s even a mini café in the corner where coffee is free (for those that deserve it…don’t think you can hang out like a 1998 Cycle Services Sifter and stay caffeinated) and banter is cheap. Diggle and Digby work their arses off in the workshop and do most of the tricky stuff in-house to keep your repair bill from bursting your aorta and the rest of the team beaver quietly away keeping customers happy with minimal bullshit and even less sales pitching. It’s the first time I’ve been into a shop and not had my ear chewed off by a staffer either on commission or thinking they know more than a 30 year veteran of super bike bullshit spieling (that’s me).
Just the other day I got an invite to a shop ride where there would be a group leaving the shop for a few laps of Mount Vic. With beers, pizza and autographs for anyone who wanted to rub shoulders with therodfather, so who was I to decline. What a brilliant idea.
Even my old mates Dave Meikle, master beer brewer and brand and marketing guru , and Wombat, ex DH junior champ (who I even used to beat when he was 14 years old) the local sales rep, both from Worralls (GT, Rockshox, Campagnolo,Sram etc) would be there and Dave was bringing a couple of his homebrew labels to solidify the relationship.
This is how a good bike shop should behave. The evening went swimmingly and everyone got a little inebriated (after the ride I assure you) and it was only marred by some international downhiller (Can’t remember his name…from Taranaki…where the hell that is…?) turning up uninvited and stealing my limelight with “wheelies for Wednesday” ?...I mean what the hell…. It was Friday. Some people!!! And by some stroke of mis-information the custom beer labels had mistakenly been printed with his ugly mug on it (tasted like crap anyway).
So I had my two standard drinks ( a third of a bottle…damn it was strong), felt a bit sick (turns out the beer was made from used motor oil and the sweat from the ‘Naki boys race jersey) and left in a huff to find only a $12 parking ticket this time and just made it home in time to join the wife for a pre-taped omnibus of Coronation street and a cold dinner. Result.
If you haven’t been into Capital yet (fool) then it’s worth a visit. Don’t be surprised if you walk out with a new plastic bike, a set of Flite wheels, or both (Yeti now have a Flite option in their high end build kit). Just make sure your car rego and WOF is up to date.
Note: SIFTER: A one time shop customer who now just hangs around getting in the way.
Have a look at our old Cycle Services page for a learning experience of incredibly high value to all cyclistic awareness.